Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Basically, each satellite which doesn't fit into any particular program is designated as a Cosmos satellite. Thus, today their numbers go well into thousands. The satellites have very different roles, early ones were used for scientific exploration, some of them are failed interplanetary probes. It is suspected that most are military reconnaissance satellites and satellites for other military uses.
Early Cosmos satellites had typic body which could be equipped with various equipment. There were six classes, labelled Cosmos A, B, C, D, E and F (a satellite of each class would be numbered independently of this). Later satellites had different bodies.
The designation is given only to satellites which are in Earth orbit. Typically, Soviet planetary missions were initially put into an Earth parking orbit as a launch platform with a rocket engine and attached probe, which would then be launched toward its targets with an engine burn with a duration of roughly 4 minutes. If the engine misfired or the burn was not completed, the probes which would be left in Earth orbit would be given a Cosmos designation, which allowed the Soviets to claim a more successful record for their planetary exploration programs, and also may have helped further disguise genuine military satellites of the Cosmos series.
Some of the Cosmos satellites are the so-called RORSAT Radar-equipped Ocean Reconnaissance Satellites.
Some Cosmos satellites
- Cosmos 21 - possible failed Venus flyby
- Cosmos 27 - failed Venus flyby
- Cosmos 60 - failed Lunar lander
- Cosmos 110 - biological experiments
- Cosmos 186 and 188 - Soyuz predecessor, experimental space merge
- Cosmos 557 - failed Salyut space station
- Cosmos 954 - failed and deorbited with a full nuclear payload, contaminating an area in northern Canada
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details